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HELP: Current DPT student that wants to go to medical school.

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_DPT2MD_

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Hello all, I am currently going through a miniature crisis. I just completed my first year of DPT school and to be honest, I am underwhelmed. I want to do more, I want to be responsible for more, I want to be challenged more. I always had the thought of being a physician in the back of my mind but I started undergraduate in a pre-physical therapy track and just stuck it out and went to PT school. After my acute care clinical experience, I find myself doing separate research about medicine essentially every day that I get home from class and am way more passionate about becoming a physician than I am about becoming a PT. I can't even sleep at night ebcause of my urge to become a physician and help people to the best of my ability. I have clinical experience in outpatient and acute care settings, a 3.57 undergraduate GPA and a know a few doctors personally that I have been talking to.

The problem here is logistics. I still need to take biochem/Ochem and study for the MCAT but I have no time to do this with the rigorous DPT schedule. I am already tens of thousands of dollars in debt from undergraduate and my first year of PT school so I cant just risk dropping out and taking a chance with medical school. It seems that the only feasible way to pursue a career in medicine is to graduate PT school, and then work as a PT whilst completing the pre-reqs and studying for the MCAT. The only problem with this is that it would be a huge money sink to continue PT school for two more years and a essentially a waste of my time. Is anyone in a similar situation or have any advice? I am beyond grateful for any tips/advice.
 

RocuROMANium

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You may want to start by figuring out how long it would take you to prepare an application for medical school. So right away I see that you need to take the OChems and Biochem. That’s probably a years worth of undergrad because you may want to take a couple of upper level science courses with those classes so that you can increase your GPA to a more competitive level (you’re not far off). How many volunteering hours do you have? How much shadowing have you done? How much clinical experience do you have currently? Depending on your answers to these questions you’re probably looking at least a year if not 2 to prepare for your application to medical school. Then you have an entire year waiting to see if you get accepted anywhere. These are just some things I think that you should consider right now.
 

RocuROMANium

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Oh yea and I almost forgot about the MCAT. You definitely want to take your time with that part of your application and make it one and done.
 

_DPT2MD_

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You may want to start by figuring out how long it would take you to prepare an application for medical school. So right away I see that you need to take the OChems and Biochem. That’s probably a years worth of undergrad because you may want to take a couple of upper level science courses with those classes so that you can increase your GPA to a more competitive level (you’re not far off). How many volunteering hours do you have? How much shadowing have you done? How much clinical experience do you have currently? Depending on your answers to these questions you’re probably looking at least a year if not 2 to prepare for your application to medical school. Then you have an entire year waiting to see if you get accepted anywhere. These are just some things I think that you should consider right now.

Yes I was thinking about adding a genetics course to that science coursework and working my ass off to get A's in all three of those courses, but again, the problem is logistics. With PT school I have no time to take these courses now and no time to study for the MCAT. I have clinical experience as a rehabilitations tech at an outpatient clinic for over a year and acute care hospital experience, but both as a PT. I would like to add shadowing hours with a physician. I have volunteer experience on a mission trip to Haiti and am planning on going back again this year. And I can always add additional volunteer hours on weekends and what not. My main concern is figuring out how and when to take biochem/Ochem because I can'y quit PT school outright (too risky and might look bad on application) and also when to study for the MCAT. Thanks for the reply.
 

RocuROMANium

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Well if you finish PT school not only will you be able to make decent money while working on your medical school app but it will also look good on your application. However, now we’re taking about another 4 years at least before you apply and work/school balance issues too. On the other hand, if you drop out now you can get started on your med school dreams sooner but will probably not look that great on your application. To me, it looks better if you finish DPT school first unless you absolutely hate it.
 

_DPT2MD_

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Well if you finish PT school not only will you be able to make decent money while working on your medical school app but it will also look good on your application. However, now we’re taking about another 4 years at least before you apply and work/school balance issues too. On the other hand, if you drop out now you can get started on your med school dreams sooner but will probably not look that great on your application. To me, it looks better if you finish DPT school first unless you absolutely hate it.

Thats what I am thinking too unfortunately. I dont hate it, but I am so passionate about medicine that I have become very disinterested in my coursework, which is going to be a big problem to try to deal with for two more years... UGH :/ Thanks for the replies man.
 
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Goro

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Thats what I am thinking too unfortunately. I dont hate it, but I am so passionate about medicine that I have become very disinterested in my coursework, which is going to be a big problem to try to deal with for two more years... UGH :/ Thanks for the replies man.
I think it's time to bail and start over fresh. For some people, the path to Medicine is revolutionary.

And remember, you're in a marathon now, not a sprint.
 
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_DPT2MD_

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I think it's time to bail and start over fresh. For some people, the path to Medicine is revolutionary.

And remember, you're in a marathon now, not a sprint.

Easier said than done though.. I can't just quit PT school with uncertainty whether or not I would get accepted to med school immediately. Loan repayment starts 6 months after and It will take me longer than that to complete pre-reqs and study for/take the MCAT. Not to mention, I don't think quitting PT school would look good on an application. But idk man :(
 

Goro

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Easier said than done though.. I can't just quit PT school with uncertainty whether or not I would get accepted to med school immediately. Loan repayment starts 6 months after and It will take me longer than that to complete pre-reqs and study for/take the MCAT. Not to mention, I don't think quitting PT school would look good on an application. But idk man :(
Did you read what I wrote?

You are NOT getting into med school immediately.

I recommended quitting PT schools because your heart isn't in it, and the damage you're going to do to you GPAS will look worse than quitting.
So quit, get a job, work, save up some money, and then attend to the required classes and ECs.
 
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JSReed

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Did you read what I wrote?

You are NOT getting into med school immediately.

I recommended quitting PT schools because your heart isn't in it, and the damage you're going to do to you GPAS will look worse than quitting.
So quit, get a job, work, save up some money, and then attend to the required classes and ECs.
FWIW I've seen people do this while working at a chain coffee shop. Minimal work hours/stress, benefits, make your own hours (sort of). Allows you to prioritize school while not being broke.
 

Splenda88

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Did you read what I wrote?

You are NOT getting into med school immediately.

I recommended quitting PT schools because your heart isn't in it, and the damage you're going to do to you GPAS will look worse than quitting.
So quit, get a job, work, save up some money, and then attend to the required classes and ECs.
100% agree with you Goro. OP should leave ASAP and start working toward becoming a doc. Average MCAT with OP current GPA should be good enough for a lot of DO schools.
 
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Musculo

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I’m a PT returning to med school this upcoming fall. I’ve been a PT for 9 years so I would say if you have the itch now, go for it. I would definitely recommend continuing with PT school, if you feel your GPA won’t go down because of your lack of interest. (If you apply DO your GPA will count in PT school and if it shows you struggled in PT school it’ll be hard to convince them med school won’t be a disaster MD and DO). The main reason being you will have earned a ton of clinical experience you can put on your med school app and towards your PT degree, killing two birds with one stone. Plus you may meet an MD you could shadow on the weekend or something (but you wouldn’t want your CI to get word of this, it may not go over well with your school). You’ll just need to work on your non-clinical volunteering hours. The second reason I recommend finishing is that you'll have the ability to earn min $30-35/hr if you find you have the need/ability to work during your time in med school (which will probably only be summers when you’re not doing research). Finally, when you’re on clinical, you may be able to do your pre-reqs for med school. All I needed was 3 classes (orgo series and biochemistry) because all the pre-reqs for med school were the same as for PT school. You could probably do the orgo series at night (I did orgo 1 at a community college then orgo 2 at a 4 year school) which you’d probably have to do around your work hours if you dropped out of PT school anyway. I didn’t take biochem but I got into a school that didn’t require it. That may be harder to find at night. Honestly I don’t remember clinicals for PT school being so hard that I had to do intesnse studying at night. I think you could handle both.

And of course med school is much more in depth but if you did cardiopulmonary in PT school, you’d probably find 25-30% of what you cover in med school to be review. I can’t promise as I’m not there, but that’ll def be an edge in med school when grades matter (depending on the school you get into) and can make a difference in residency app. You’ll certainly be at an advantage in anatomy because what people find so hard is musculoskeletal, which you’ll probably know cold by the end of school.

Best of luck with your decision and with PT school!
 
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Musculo

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I’ll just add that I agree with you, studying for the MCAT was extremely difficult and I wouldn’t recommend doing that with all that you have going on. But you also shouldn’t worry about the MCAT until you’re done with orgo 1 and most recommend biochem as well, so you have time to worry about that. While others have done it, there was no college around me that allowed me to take biochem prior to finishing orgo 2, so if it’s like that in your area, there’s at least 1-1.5 years between you and being ready to study for the MCAT. Which puts you at just 6 months from graduating from PT school if you chose to continue.
 
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_DPT2MD_

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I’m a PT returning to med school this upcoming fall. I’ve been a PT for 9 years so I would say if you have the itch now, go for it. I would definitely recommend continuing with PT school, if you feel your GPA won’t go down because of your lack of interest. (If you apply DO your GPA will count in PT school and if it shows you struggled in PT school it’ll be hard to convince them med school won’t be a disaster MD and DO). The main reason being you will have earned a ton of clinical experience you can put on your med school app and towards your PT degree, killing two birds with one stone. Plus you may meet an MD you could shadow on the weekend or something (but you wouldn’t want your CI to get word of this, it may not go over well with your school). You’ll just need to work on your non-clinical volunteering hours. The second reason I recommend finishing is that you'll have the ability to earn min $30-35/hr if you find you have the need/ability to work during your time in med school (which will probably only be summers when you’re not doing research). Finally, when you’re on clinical, you may be able to do your pre-reqs for med school. All I needed was 3 classes (orgo series and biochemistry) because all the pre-reqs for med school were the same as for PT school. You could probably do the orgo series at night (I did orgo 1 at a community college then orgo 2 at a 4 year school) which you’d probably have to do around your work hours if you dropped out of PT school anyway. I didn’t take biochem but I got into a school that didn’t require it. That may be harder to find at night. Honestly I don’t remember clinicals for PT school being so hard that I had to do intesnse studying at night. I think you could handle both.

And of course med school is much more in depth but if you did cardiopulmonary in PT school, you’d probably find 25-30% of what you cover in med school to be review. I can’t promise as I’m not there, but that’ll def be an edge in med school when grades matter (depending on the school you get into) and can make a difference in residency app. You’ll certainly be at an advantage in anatomy because what people find so hard is musculoskeletal, which you’ll probably know cold by the end of school.

Best of luck with your decision and with PT school!

Thank you so much for that response. That makes me feel a lot better about this whole situation. My PT school program sets it up to where the whole third year is clinical rotations so I was planning on doing Ochem during those at night like you suggested. I am looking to observe a physician a couple hours per week this semester and being proactive about volunteering. Ultimately, I think it is best that I complete PT school. My grades are very good as of now, and as long as I keep that up I think it will strengthen my application tremendously. My biggest hump will be to try to tough it out and not become distracted with my passion for medicine (which is already starting to affect my motivation for PT coursework.)

Also, you say that you are returning to med school this fall. You have already been accepted then? I have a few more questions about your whole process of transitioning from a working PT to med student and what you did to strengthen your application, if you don't mind. Also impressed that you obviously did well on MCAT without biochem. Again, thanks for the reply, very helpful.
 
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Musculo

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Yes, accepted to school. In the 9 years I’ve been a practicing PT, I have been an adjunct instructor (didn’t really know if I wanted to pursue the academic world and turns out absolutely not) and well as a supervisor/director. And I think those roles played a lot into why I was accepted, but who can really know.

As far as my MCAT I definitely rushed things and didn't study as I should have. The bio and the CARS were my highest sections by far but I still struggled with the chem/phys and the P/S sections. I should have taken more time to review since I was over a decade from learning that material, so you may find yourself to be similar. Since I’m older I didn’t want to add another year to the pre-req process and rushed my app. I’ll admit to being extremely lucky and I don’t recommend you do that. I think we use a lot of bio and CARS as PTs so you may find being fresh out of school helps you for those. That being said, my best advice is don’t rush and get your app in as early as possible when AMCAS/AACOMAS opens.

Also, there’s a ton of good advice on SDN, but the best advice was to really focus on why you’re running to medicine and not away from PT.
 
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_DPT2MD_

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Very very helpful. Thank you for your time and congratulations on getting accepted. I am currently starting observation/volunteer stuff while in PT school and keeping it on the DL. I would like to try to take Ochem/Biochem in my third year during clinicals if possible. I have been browsing SDN for weeks now and honestly I cant sleep at night because its all I think about. Good luck with your future in medicine, I hope to start mine soon!
 
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Etopn23

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I would finish PT school IMO and practice for a year or two. It looks bad if you bail on a professional program a year into it.
 
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_DPT2MD_

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I would finish PT school IMO and practice for a year or two. It looks bad if you bail on a professional program a year into it.

I agree with you. And if my passion for medicine is still as strong as it is now, then this will only solidify my choice. Just need to stay occupied/motivated for two more years...
 
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DPTinthemaking15

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As per usual, I will agree with @Goro on this one. Why? Because I was in your shoes two years ago and I’m glad I listened to others more wise than myself.

I was in my first semester of PT school, and like yourself, I was underwhelmed with everything going on. After gross, embryology, functional anatomy, etc. I was still twiddling my thumbs. I was sitting in class looking up how to study for the MCAT, what classes I needed to take, which schools would best suit me, and so on.


Now, I start medical school in a few weeks and I’m PUMPED I dropped out back then. Go listen to a podcast called The Old pre-meds/med school hq (they both should pull up). Dr. Gray talks with a NP student struggling with the same issue, do I stay or do I go? The episode I am referring to is “episode 129,” but most of the podcast under old pre-meds are all gold.

He told her that it didn’t make sense for her to stay because you are going to lose X amount of money obtaining a degree you don’t want. As for the debt? Find a part-time job and work your butt off while studying for the MCAT/taking pre-reqs. When I dropped out, I had no plans with the exception of taking the MCAT and it was scary as heck, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As for med schools bringing up “Why did you leave PT school?” I had three interviews and I received that question 0 times. They didn’t care about why I dropped out, because my personal statement explained why I was running TO medicine and not AWAY from PT school.

Anyways OP, good luck with your decision and if you would rather PM me, I will do my best to answer any questions.
 
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Musculo

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As per usual, I will agree with @Goro on this one. Why? Because I was in your shoes two years ago and I’m glad I listened to others more wise than myself.

I was in my first semester of PT school, and like yourself, I was underwhelmed with everything going on. After gross, embryology, functional anatomy, etc. I was still twiddling my thumbs. I was sitting in class looking up how to study for the MCAT, what classes I needed to take, which schools would best suit me, and so on.


Now, I start medical school in a few weeks and I’m PUMPED I dropped out back then. Go listen to a podcast called The Old pre-meds/med school hq (they both should pull up). Dr. Gray talks with a NP student struggling with the same issue, do I stay or do I go? The episode I am referring to is “episode 129,” but most of the podcast under old pre-meds are all gold.

He told her that it didn’t make sense for her to stay because you are going to lose X amount of money obtaining a degree you don’t want. As for the debt? Find a part-time job and work your butt off while studying for the MCAT/taking pre-reqs. When I dropped out, I had no plans with the exception of taking the MCAT and it was scary as heck, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As for med schools bringing up “Why did you leave PT school?” I had three interviews and I received that question 0 times. They didn’t care about why I dropped out, because my personal statement explained why I was running TO medicine and not AWAY from PT school.

Anyways OP, good luck with your decision and if you would rather PM me, I will do my best to answer any questions.
Nice to hear a different opinion. Best of luck in med school this fall!
 

DPTinthemaking15

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Nice to hear a different opinion. Best of luck in med school this fall!

Thank you! And likewise, good luck this Fall. I feel like you will have a leg up on your classmates with a background in PT.
 
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